May Your Life Be Like A Basket...Useful...Bountiful...Beautiful...

Basketmaster's Weavings is about my passions, much of which revolves around basket weaving. I weave with reed and I love teaching others to weave. Many of the patterns and styles that I show in the blog are geared to the beginning weaver, or even the brand new weaver. If you have been thinking about wanting to learn to weave, then this blog is for you. Throughout the blog and videos I take you step by step through each and every process of weaving. I want you to be successful in weaving the very first time you try. For the intermediate and advanced weaver, my wish is that you take ideas that I show, mix them up a bit, and incorporate them into your own beautiful creations.

Happy Weaving and Baskets of Blessings to all my visitors,


You may find my YouTube Videos Here.

Listen to Basketmaster's Making our Home a Haven Podcast.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Vidoe #3 is up on You Tube Now

Ok, I've got it uploaded onto You Tube so if you would like to watch it there, here is the link. If you watch it on You Tube, the video screen is larger. This video runs just over 6 minutes.

Video #3 Weaving a Rectangular Basket Base

Here is a video I made on how to weave a very basic rectangular basket base. The same principle is used when making a square base. I'm trying to get this up on YouTube, but I'm having trouble at the moment. I'll try again tonight or tomorrow, but here it is for now. I hope you enjoy it!

Baskets of Blessings,


Monday, March 30, 2009

April 2009 Newsletter

Basketmaster’s Weavings
April 2009 Newsletter, Issue 6

Dear Friends,

Spring is here! Well, so I thought. I had been enjoying our nice weather and planted strawberries out in the garden. Now, I’m having to cover them up to protect them from the cold. I have the itch to get the rest of my garden in once the weather decides to cooperate. Over spring break I took the kids on Amtrak to visit my parents. Mike stayed here and worked. I got back just in the nick of time. As we drove to the train station in Kansas it was cold and raining and turning into snow. By the time I got to Rio Rancho and called home, my parents had 18+ inches of snow! The next train couldn’t make it through all that. The kids would have liked to have been snowed in and missed a day of school, but I was glad to be back home.

This month we will be making a “Spring Tulip Basket”. This is a sweet round basket accented with flower curls to look like tulips. It is a beginner basket so no weaving experience is required. Cost of the class is $20 and additional kits are $10.

As always, I’m not someone who likes to send attachments with my e-mails so if the picture does not show up, please look at my blog to view the picture of this basket.
April Class Schedule and Kit of the Month

The approximate finished size is 6” in diameter and 3 1/2” high.
Class Dates and Times
Saturday, April 4, 9:00 am– 12:30 pm
Friday, April 24, 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Again, I provide all the weaving material. What you need to bring are the following:
Tape measure
Dish pan or large bucket to hold water
Old kitchen scissors
Old bath towel
A dozen or so spring type clothespins
A small flat blade screw driver
A great attitude and a smile on your face ;- )
Please wear old clothing to class

Class size is limited. Please call or e-mail me early so I may reserve your spot. Reservations are taken on a first come first serve basis. I will form a waiting list as needed. At this time, all classes are held in my home in Cabezon, 5 minutes west of St. Thomas Aquinas church or Intel. I will send all students specific directions.

Question of the month:
Nancy, when taking your class, can I make some changes to my basket? In many baskets that we weave in class you are given a choice of colors and sometimes even sizes. This enables you to personalize your basket and truly make it one of a kind. In a basket like this tulip basket, you need to follow the directions more precisely so that the tulips may be woven as designed.

Please always remember, that if I’ve failed to mention something in this newsletter that you have a question about, just call or send me an e-mail and I’ll get right back to you with an answer. As I told you last month, I love weaving and I look forward to sharing my joy and enthusiasm of it with you. Here is my contact information:


Happy Basket Weaving and
Baskets of Blessings!


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Share A Basket Sunday

Hi Everyone,

I'm home from spring break. Had a wonderful time with the children visiting my parents. We took the Amtrak and were gone for almost a week. Thankfully we got back just in time as the "Epic" blizzard, as they were calling it, was just about to hit. And snow it did. We had beautiful but windy weather in Kansas during spring break and after getting out of there it snowed 18+ inches. Here is a picture of the kids on the Amtrak. Coming home it was so nice because the train car was not full and we were able to spread out.

I was able to spend some nice time with my parents. I cannot believe I didn't get a picture of my dad, but here is my mother and she will be turning 79 this June. I think she looks great. She has battled breast cancer and has a new hip and I feel so blessed with how well she is doing. BTW...See her working in the kitchen. My parents bought this house before I was born! They've lived in it about 50 years now. The stove was new when I was a little girl. It has to be about 30 years old now and she won't trade it in on a newer model. I also love the apron she is wearing. That is then next thing I want to sew are some aprons for myself. Do you think that wearing arpons puts you in the mood to clean? Also, there is no dishwasher or garbage disposal. We did the dishes by hand three times a day while I visited. Oh how thankful I am for my modern kitchen.

I helped mom pin a quilt to get it ready for her to machine quilt it. I'll share some pictures of her quilts another day. While I was there I noticed that I have done a lot of crafting over the years. I knew I had done some, but I didn't realize just how much! I took pictures of some of it and will also be sharing that in upcoming posts from time to time. The one I am sharing today is a basket I wove from fabric and paper twist. Do you remember paper twist? The frame of this basket is made from 3 brown paper bags put together for strength and then the paper twist and fabric was woven around the paper bags. The basket is lined with fabric that is held in place using hot glue. The lace is also held in place with hot glue. I must have woven this basket 25 years ago. It was a fun find. I can't believe all the things mom has kept that I have made.

During the week I did a fair amount of crocheting. I made several dish clothes and gave them to mom. I also crocheted a scarf and two place mats. I'm having a lot of fun with this new skill I'm learning.

I hope all of you have had a wonderful and blessed week.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Break Week

I'm enjoying my spring break with the children this week. We're just relaxing and spending time with family. I'll write more on Sunday.
Baskets of Blessings,

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Weaver's Words

Do you know about Weaver's Words? Weaver's Words is an online basket weaving community that provides helpful tips and updates with what is going on in the world of weaving. It keeps everyone up-to-date where the latest conventions are being held and also as a basket swap. It comes in your in-box about twice a month. Here is the link to join Weaver's Words. There is no cost to join.

I've been a member of Weaver's Words for many years now and have received many tips as well as hopefully given others some friendly words of wisdom. It is something I look forward to reading and I think you would enjoy it too.

Baskets of Blessings,


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Some Crafty Goodness

Things have been crafty around the house lately. Guess I've just had the urge to create. One of the things I've been doing is teaching myself to crochet. At first I wasn't sure what possessed me to learn this new craft, but I've been watching Vicki's blog at My Creative Corner and I'm sure that has had an influence on me to learn crocheting. She does beautiful work. I've been learning to crochet by watching videos on youtube and Nexstitch. Here are my first two projects.
The green was done using a single crochet. I just grabbed the front loop while crocheting. I've learned I can change the pattern next time by grabbing just the back loop or the entire loop.
This was made with a double crochet stitch. Both dishcloths used 2 oz worsted 100% cotton yarn and I used an H hook. I have two other dishcloths well underway. I know my stitches aren't perfect, but for my first projects, I'm happy with the results!
This is an Easter Egg tree that I made. I saw something similar in a Pottery Barn advertisement and thought, "I could do that". I got a few spindly branched artificial plants and put them in a vase. I added glass marbles to the vase for stability. I took some extra plastic eggs and drilled a hole in them. Then I threaded some ribbon through the hole to make a hanger for the eggs and hung them on the branches.
Finally here is my daughter Emily with a dog cake she made using a pattern from Family Fun. The paws are cupcakes. The spots are mint patties and junior mints. The red collar is a fruit rollup. The eyes, tongue and tag are a wafer candy and the blue on the eyes are M&M's. The ears and mouth are chocolate licorice. Yum! There's just been a whole lot of crafting going on around here.
Have a wonderful day.
This post links to:
Craftaholics Anonymous
Skip To My Lou

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Staining a Basket with Liquid Minwax

My dear friend Anne from Kumon left me a message about wanting more information on staining baskets. Also over at We Are That Family, they are having Works For Me Wednesday where people show and tell ideas that work for them, so I want to show how Minwax works for me. Here is what I do.
I stain my baskets with Minwax. That's Minwax in the yellow can. Don't go for some off brand of stain. I repeat Minwax!!! Ok. ok....There are some really great basket stains on the market from basket weaving supply stores, but they just aren't as readily available as Minwax is. You can get Minwax, that's Minwax in the yellow can, at your home improvement stores like Lowes, Home Depot and Sears. If you have a lot of baskets to stain, go for the gallon size in your favorite color. If you are trying colors out, go for the smallest size you can get. Lay down a piece of newspaper and have a disposable foam brush. The foam brushes can be purchased at your craft store for sometimes 20 for $1.00.

Just lay down some newspaper, dip your foam brush in the stain and paint it on. Paint the outside, the inside, the bottom, the handle, everywhere. What is so wonderful about Minwax is that you do not have to wipe it off. It just soaks immediately into the basket and it doesn't leave a sticky feel to your basket. Please believe me when I tell you I've tried many other brands of stain, and for baskets, they can be a big fat sticky mess and make you just want to throw your basket in the trash. In the photo above, the left side of my basket has not been stained and the right side has. Usually one coat of stain is all that I will do on my basket. The Minwax stain is so thin and runny that it runs right between all the weaving and twining to give a nice even stain to it all and it soaks right into the reed. Do your staining in a well ventilated area and just let your basket dry overnight after staining. Then you are good to go the next day. (IMHO...Your foam brush is not worth saving after using on stain)

Minwax makes a spray stain and quite honestly, it is wonderful too. (I should do a commercial for this company) I use it when I am in a hurry, but it does cost more and again, I still need to let my basket dry overnight. It is just like using a can of hairspray or a can of spray paint. (Whichever you are familiar with using) Again, just be sure to spray all sides, inside, outside, top and bottom etc.

Remember, if you have used dyed reed in your basket, stain will alter its color. I do not stain baskets if I have woven light pastel colors because I do not want them to turn muddy. Dark colors such as burgundy and navy blue seem to do well with stain.

One final word. For those of you who stain your baskets the natural way with solutions made from walnut shells or other plant products I applaud you and in no way am I trying to say my way is a better way, it is just my way and that is what I wanted to share.

If any of you ever have basket weaving questions, please post them in a comment or an e-mail and I'll do my best to answer them as quickly as possible.

Baskets of Blessings to you all,


Tip Technique Tuesday--Creating Custom Colors

As many of you know, I use Rit Dye to dye my reed. Have you been to Rit's website to see all the beautiful colors that are available? Did you know that you can create your own custom colors with their custom color recipes? Be sure to check out the site when you are getting ready to dye your reed so you can get just the perfect color. Rit gives very specific recipes for many custom colors. You can just follow their color recipe along with my directions for dying reed that I gave HERE on this previous post.

When you are looking for places to purchase Rit dye, you can find it in stores such as Walmart and Target in the laundry section. Also many grocery stores sell rit dye with their laundry detergent. Keep your eyes open for it at fabric stores like JoAnns and Hancock Fabrics. Finally, sometimes you can get a great deal on it at places like Tuesday Mornings or Big Lots. It's out there and it's available if you just know where to find it. Also, if you are lucky enough to get some at a garage sale, grab it. I've personally not found it to expire and the colors still come out beautiful. I do buy mine in the powder form on most occasions just because it is less expensive than the liquid.

So try a custom color sometime. When you do, be sure to send me an e-mail and post a picture of it. I'd love to see how your custom colors turn out.

Baskets of Blessings,


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Share a Basket Sunday--Mini Tote Basket

Today I wanted to share a mini tote basket that I wove. The stakes are out of 3/8" flat reed and the 3rd and 5th stakes wrap up and around to make the handle. The weavers are out of 11/64" reed. Wouldn't this make a cute teacher gift? Oh... See the leaf and stem on the apple. The stem is #2 round reed dyed brown and the leaf is 1/4" flat reed dyed green!
Have a blessed Sunday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Free Online Basket Weaving Patterns

I just wanted to send out a note here that has 10 free printable basket weaving patterns on their site here. Three of them are new, a key basket, a mail basket and a condiment basket. Be sure to pop over to their site and browse around a bit to see some of their fun and new basket weaving supplies.
Happy Weaving and Baskets of Blessings,

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

April Basket Preview--Talk About Tuesday

Lara Gallagher over at The Lazy Organizer is hosting a blog carnival called Talk About Tuesday where we can blog about most anything of interest. Be sure to pop over and check her out! Today I am going to talk about my upcoming classes.

Dear Friends,

My sweet friend Naomi who organizes the Krafty Ladies is offering for me to teach this sweet spring basket for the Krafty Girls. I just wanted to give you a preview of the basket. As soon as we settle on a date I will let you know immediately. I will tell you that it will be sometime in April. Until then....

Happy Basket Weaving.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Basket Weaving--Did You Know??? Facts about Twining

Twining--A basketry technique using two or more sets of elements in which one set encircles the other.

Did you know that the first use of 'twining' was probably to hold twigs and sticks together to construct shelter walls?

Twining has also been used in ancient times by people as they spaced out twined rows to make traps and fish nets. They spaced their twined rows closer together to make lightweight baskets.

Stiff twining materials include: reed, rattan, cane, ropes, stiff grasses and stems of plants.

Flexible materials for twining include: cords, twine, jute and yarn among others.
I use twining on most every basket. On round or oval baskets I use twining to form the base. On square or rectangular baskets I use twining to stabilize the base and this keeps the base's shape. On some baskets, I will use twining on the sides for an interesting visual element.
You can begin by crimping one piece of material on itself and twining with just that one piece. You may also twine with two pieces of similar elements. An interesting technique is to use two pieces of the same size reed but have they dyed different colors and twining with the two colors. This is very pretty.
Enjoy twining and Happy Basket Weaving,

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

100th Post and a Freebie Pattern for All!

I can't believe I already have posted 100 times. (actually, this is post #101) My March Newsletter was post #100. I think that it is time for me to share a pattern with all of you. Please feel free to weave this and share it with others in your classes, guilds, or on your blogs. All I ask is that you please give me the credit for writing it and link your friends back to my blog. Oh, also please post a comment to just say "hi". I like to hear from all who are reading my blog.
Thanks and Baskets of Blessings to all of you!

Kitchen Counter Basket
Pattern Written by Nancy Jacobs

Finished Size is approx. 11”l x 5”w x 7” h

Materials Required:
5/8” flat reed
3/8” flat reed
3/8” or 1/2” flat/oval reed
11/64” flat or flat/oval
#2 or #3 round reed

Cut stakes from 5/8” flat reed 5 pieces 27” long.
Cut stakes from 5/8” flat reed 9 pieces 24” long.
Cut filler stakes from 3/8” flat reed 4 pieces 19” long.
Lay 5 stakes—27” long horizontally, rough side up.
Lay the 4 filler 3/8” stakes between the 27” stakes, smooth side up.
Weave vertically the 9 stakes rough side up from 5/8” flat in an over under weave. The stakes on the far left and right should be woven UNDER the filler stakes. Base is to measure 11” x 5”. Square everything up.
Turn the basket over and fold back the filler stakes and insert ends under weaving.
Turn basket back over and twine one row of #2 or #3 round reed to keep the base in place.
Upset the stakes.
Weave with an over/under weave with 3/8” flat reed for 5 rows or until a height of approx 2”. Colored reed can be woven in here if desired.
Now you will begin increasing the basket on three sides. Begin your weaving on the stake at the farthest left on one of the long sides. Bend the weaver back on its self and hide the end in the weaving. Weave around the front, one end of the basket and the back of the basket ending at the stake on the farthest right. Again bend the weaver back on its self and tuck the end in the weaving.
On the next row begin with the stake, second to the end and do the same ending around on the other side second stake from the right.
Continue increasing the weaving around the basket until your last row is just across one short end of the basket.
Twine for 2 rows around the top of the basket with #2 or #3 round reed.
Tuck in all stakes, hiding the ends under the weavers.
Place a rim of 3/8” or 1/2” flat/oval on the inside and the outside of the two rows of twining.
Place a row of seagrass between the rims and lash rims in place using 11/64 flat or flat/oval.
Trim or singe the hairs of your basket and ENJOY!

I think this basket is great for the kitchen counter. It is long enough to hold business size envelopes, pencils, stamps, mail or just any the things that tend to collect on your counter.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March 2009 Newsletter--Springtime Basket and Easter Basket Plus Bonus Instructions

Basketmaster’s Weavings
March 2009 Newsletter, Issue 5

Dear Friends,

Greetings and happy basket weaving. I have so much to tell you in this letter that I am going to get right to business and let you know that I will be teaching two different baskets this month. They are a beginner basket and an intermediate basket. Let me get right to it by showing you the pictures of what we will be making.
Springtime Basket
Friday March 13, 2009 6:00 - 9:30 pm
This is a beginner basket and it is similar to the one we made in November but the size is different. It is approximately 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 4" high.
There will be a variety of ribbons to chose from.
This basket is actually being done at the request of one of my students. I am always happy to try and accommodate all requests to the best of my abilities. Cost of the class is $25 and this includes all weaving material needed to weave one basket. Additional kits are $10.

Easter Basket

Friday March 20, 2009 6:00 - 10:00 pm

The Easter basket is a beginning to intermediate level basket and is made with a wooden 8' x 12" 'D' handle. We will be using maple strips and complete it with a beautiful braided handle. Please note the longer class time for this basket. The cost of this class is $30 and additional kits are $15. A variety of spring colors will be available. The size of this basket is: 8" wide by 5 1/2" high not including the handle height. It is 12" high if you include the handle. (It will hold a lot of eggs. There are 14 eggs in my basket sitting on Easter grass when I took the picture).

Please note: Sign-ups for this Easter Basket class will be taken only from now through March 9th. The specialty handle needs to be ordered and this will give it time to arrive. Be sure to order any kits by March 9th as well.

A second note: It is best to have experience in weaving at least one basket before working on your Easter basket. I always want students to try new things, but I never want a brand new student to feel overwhelmed. If this is your first basket, I would strongly encourage you to sign up for the Springtime basket class the week before and do it first. It will introduce all the basic concepts of weaving and shaping a basket.

On a personal note, we’ve been enjoying a foreign exchange student from Germany at our home and she will be with us for another week. Katie’s German class hosted several exchange students here during the end of February through the first week of March. It’s been nice because they have had an agenda of things to do with her here in the area. What that means is that I’ve been getting to take her as well as my own family on some fun local outings. These are places I’ve wanted to visit but haven’t found the time for. Now I must make the time and I’m so glad we’ve gotten to explore ‘home’ a little more. What some of you may not know is when our children were little; we lived in Germany for almost four years, just south of Munich. This was for Mike’s job. Having the exchange student here in our home means I’ve gotten to practice my German speaking skills. Basket classes will start up this month after Jasmin, our German student, moves on to her next destination. Her group is off to Washington DC and then Disney World. I wish we could go with her.

Again, I provide all the weaving material. What you need to bring are the following:
Tape measure
Dish pan or large bucket to hold water
Old kitchen scissors
Old bath towel
A dozen or so spring type clothespins
A small flat blade screw driver
A great attitude and a smile on your face ;- )
Please wear old clothing to class

Class size is limited. Please call or e-mail me early so I may reserve your spot. Reservations are taken on a first come first serve basis. I will form a waiting list as needed. At this time, all classes are held in my home in Cabezon, 5 minutes west of St. Thomas Aquinas church. I will send all students specific directions.

Question of the month:
Nancy, Do you use any special tools to weave a basket? Answer: I can weave a basket with just the things mentioned on my list above along with my weaving material. As far as tools go, there are a couple of tools that I personally like to use that make weaving a little easier and faster for me. The first tool is called a spoke weight. It is a heavy metal ruler and I use it when laying out the base of a basket. It is like another hand and the weight of it helps keep everything in place. The ruler helps me keep everything centered and squared up. For someone starting, if you need another hand to help you hold things in place, just get a bag of dried beans out of your pantry. That will keep the spokes in place when you start weaving your basket. The second tool I really like is called a lashing tool. Some places sell it as a “lash buddy” or “lash saver”. My dear friend Anne calls it a basket weaving shoe horn because that is what it looks like only much smaller. It helps create a space for you to insert your lasher as you are weaving the rim of the basket. A flat blade screw driver does the same thing, but the lashing tool is just one step better in making weaving simpler.

Speaking of Anne, I’ve got to tell you just a bit about her because she really is special to me. Anne runs the Kumon Center here in Rio Rancho over on Southern. This is how I met her as all three of my children have excelled in math by learning the Kumon method. (Kumon teaches reading as well) Anne has taken some of my basket classes and she sent an e-mail to me after taking her first basket class and she gave me permission to share it with you.

During my short drive home on Friday night, I realized that was as relaxed and satisfied as I feel after a 1-hour massage. That, and I had a beautiful basket that I will be able to appreciate for much longer than the the benefits of a massage!
I was so proud and excited to show my basket to the Kumon moms today. They loved both the basket and the idea of spending a few hours with some new friends AND going home with a COMPLETED project! You absolutely have to put some brochures in the Center.
I can't wait until next month's class. Thanks so much for offering me the opportunity to learn a new craft... And most importantly, share some time with some amazing women!
~~~AnneAnne Kimiko Parham Executive Director Kumon Math & Reading Center of Rio Rancho 3751 Southerrn Blvd. SE, Suite D Rio Rancho, New Mexico 87124 USA Phone: 505-994-4466

Bonus Fun Instructions:

Did you see those sweet glittery eggs in the Easter basket? They are so simple to make. Just purchase some plastic eggs and using a foam sponge, coat them with clear drying glue. Any inexpensive clear drying glue will work. Then sprinkle on some extra fine glitter in your choice of colors and let dry. They are so sweet and so easy!

Please always remember, that if I’ve failed to mention something in this newsletter that you have a question about, just call or send me an e-mail and I’ll get right back to you with an answer. As I told you last month, I love weaving and I look forward to sharing my joy and enthusiasm of it with you. Here is my contact information:


Happy Basket Weaving and
Baskets of Blessings!


Grab a cup of coffee and take time to enjoy some posts from the past

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